Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Women of Lockerbie, a play

Today Don and I walked part of the distance to Fourth Presbyterian Church at Chestnut and Michigan Ave to attend the “men’s group” script reading presentation of Women of Lockerbie, a play by DeborahBrevoort about the crash of Pan Am 103 in 1988 or so. It blew up over the small town of Lockerbie, Scotland, the victim of Lebanon terrorists.

The play concerns itself with a New Jersey mother who roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the Women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the US Government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. The Women of Lockerbie is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.

The cast is small, consisting of only five women and two men:

MADELINE LIVINGSTON: A suburban housewife from New Jersey. Her 20-year old son Adam was killed 7 years ago in the Pan Am 103 crash over Lockerbie, Scotland.

BILL LIVINGSTON: Her husband, father of Adam.

OLIVE ALLISON: An older woman, from Lockerbie and leader of the laundry project.

Two middle-aged women from Lockerbie.

HATTIE: A cleaning woman from Lockerbie.

GEORGE JONES: The American government representative in charge of the warehouse storing the remains from the Pan Am 103 crash.

I know it sounds like a cliche, but all of us were rivited to the delivery of the words as each actor delivered them. Everyone who discussed it with the actors afterwards, in an open discussion, prefaced their comments with quotes of either a sentence or a paragraph.

The playwrite had Bill nailed down perfect. Only a woman could have. The quote or situation that hit me like a brick was description of having to return a Christmas gift to a 16 year old clerk. And then do it over and over again the same day for the rest of the gifts. It brought it alive. I played it like a video in my mind. I have a daughter who has worked retail since she was 14.

I could go on, but it would ramble. Her words will stay with Don and me for a long time.

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